Dorms hold service auctions to raise funds for local charities

For only five dollars; Calvin students could have held a paper plate, heaped with cold whipped cream, and, facing any CLC member they chose, launched it right into the CLC member’s fearful face. This month, Calvin College dorms are taking part in a campus wide service auction, and so far, the events have been filled with laughter, competition and people with pie smashed in their faces.

To take part in this auction, students have been encouraged to offer up any special service they can perform — from making simple friendship bracelets to wiping snow off of fellow students cars. These entries are then auctioned off, and the money is donated to a charity specific to each dorm.

Schultze Eldersveld partnered with, as Daniel Paulson said in his opening introduction “that magical place, Roosevelt Park Community CRC.” This is a church in downtown Wyoming, dedicated to helping struggling Hispanics in the area with ESL programs and afterschool tutoring. Pastor Jackson of Roosevelt CRC came up before the auctioning event and said a few words.

“I cannot keep this money,” he began. “It must be given back to the community. You all have a dedication to our ministries, and the community is aware of what you are doing.”

“You might think that nobody here notices what you did, but somebody did” he emphasized, meaning Roosevelt Church.

The opening speech was followed by the actual fast paced and hectic auctioning event. Bids often went over $50, (encouraged by the right to pie someone in the face for every $50 donation).

Highlights included lullabies before bed, encouraging notes written on a dorm room door, and even wiping the snow off of the winner’s car, all sold for around $30. Other popular entries including determining a friend’s wardrobe for a week, having two fully dressed bodyguards for a day and a spontaneous “re-arrange your room” prank. During the whole event, a silent auction was being held in the background. These entries generally went for a much lower price, from $5 friendship bracelets, to an $8 secret handshake.

However, the best seller of the evening was a much-coveted “Dinner for two with president LeRoy.” The bidding started at $20, and after a good deal of back and forth bidding, ended up being sold for $152. All the while in the background, standing on protective plastic sheets, dorm CLC members were being pied in the face (for only $5 a pie).

“There were a lot of really fun prizes! Personally, I won the RD parking spot for the last week of interim!” says Hannah Zwart, a freshman who participated in the bidding. “It was really fun!”

At the end of the night, the auction ended up with over $2000 to donate to Roosevelt Park Community CRC, and participant’s pockets felt very much lighter. But Pastor Jackson words still seemed very appropriate. “Nothing you do for the Lord” he said, “is in vain.”